Northern Bay land due for cleaning
Locals call site of Northern Bay fire an ‘eyesore’
A number of Northern Bay residents want the property across from the community’s park cleaned up. A former nightclub occupied that land before the building burned down in 2013. People are now leaving garbage there, and residents are becoming impatient with the property’s owner.
Locals from Trinity Conception, visitors from other parts of the province and tourists from all over the world have stepped foot on the sandy beaches of Northern Bay Sands Park.
But one local woman is actively seeking government intervention to a problem she believes affects the way tourists see this heavily visited area.
Stella Johnson is the driving force behind a petition to have a site cleaned up that is located directly across the street from the entrance to Northern Bay Sands, about half an hour north of Carbonear. The remnants of the former Bide a While nightclub, which burned down in 2013, still sit on the lot. There are charred wooden posts, oxidized metal and wooden planks all over.
Johnson has been fighting for a clean up since the building, which was not being used at the time, burned down. And she wants to see it done before the beach season begins because it is an “eyesore.”
“It’s pretty bad when a community has to set up a petition to get the government to even come to look at it,” she explained.
Neal O’Leary, the owner of the park, told The Compass he requested to purchase the lot from the owner Brian Mullaly a few years ago, but he was turned down. A request for an interview with Mullaly, who is living out of the country, was not returned. But a statement from Service NL confirmed he has been notified the site must be cleaned up.
“The owner has stated to the department that the site will be cleared in the near future,” the statement said.
Environmental protection officers have been on site to investigate the issue over the past few weeks. Trinity-Bay de Verde MHA Steve Crocker presented the petition in the House on three separate occasions since last month.
“Northern Bay Sands is probably one of the largest tourism attractions in the district of Trinity-Bay de Verde with tens of thousands of visitors every summer,” Crocker said in his presentation to the House.
He continued noting he had been in the community for a clean up project and took the time to visit the site while there.
“It’s even got to a situation, Mr. Speaker, where what is starting to happen now is people are using it for a waste disposal site,” he said.
Johnson wasn’t impressed with the recent garbage drops on the lot either.
“I’m living next to a dump,” she stated.
The Compass visited the remains of the nightclub last Wednesday. It was overrun with flies, an old bike had been thrown in the bushes in front of the lot, a window was sitting in the grass and there were still nails poking up through some of the wooden boards that remain.
Johnson just wants the area to be presentable to visitors, and hopes it will be cleaned up soon.
Stella Johnson holds up a rusted tool box that was disposed of on the site of the former Bide a Way nightclub in Northern Bay. Debris that lies on a property across from Northern Bay Sands is the subject of a petition that was presented to government to help clean up the mess.